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Mol Microbiol. 1992 Aug;6(16):2213-8.

Mutagenesis induced by bacterial UmuDC proteins and their plasmid homologues.

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Section on Viruses and Cellular Biology, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


The popular image of a world full of pollutants mutating DNA is only partly true since there are relatively few agents which can subtly and directly change base coding; for example, some alkylating agents alter guanine so that it pairs like adenine. Many more mutagens are less subtle and simply destroy coding altogether rather than changing it. Such mutagens include ultraviolet light, X-rays, DNA cross-linkers and other agents which make DNA breaks or large adducts. In Escherichia coli, mutagenesis by these agents occurs during a DNA repair process which increases cell survival but with an inherent possibility of changing the original sequence. Such mutagenic DNA repair is, in part, encoded by the E. coli umuDC operon. This article reviews the structure, function, regulation and evolution of the umuDC operon and similar genes found both in other species and on naturally occurring plasmids.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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